1. Fisher et al have been studying the effects of ALIX/AIP1, a protein that functions in the process of enveloped retrovirus budding. ALIX is composed of both an N-terminal Bro1 domain as well as a central domain in the shape of a “V.” Fisher et al have found that ALIX is able to connect retroviral Gag proteins to ESCRT-III as well as to other cellular budding machinery via the mechanism of CHMP4/ESCRT-III proteins binding to the Bro1 domain of ALIX and YPXnL late domains binding to the “V” of ALIX.
“Structural and Biochemical Studies of ALIX/AIP1 and Its Role in Retrovirus Budding.” Fisher et al. Cell: Volume 128, Issue 5, 9 March 2007. Pages 841-852. found online here.
2. Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-Related Virus (XMRV) has been found to infect humans and has been classified as a gammaretrovirus. XMRV was discovered in the prostate cancer tissue of males who were homozygous for a mutation leading to a less active form of RNase L (an antiviral enzyme). Dong et al found through generating a full length replication competent XMRV clone that XMRV, while unable to grow in prostate cell lines that lacked JAK1 which is required for IFN 1 signaling, was susceptible to inhibition by interferon and RNase L.
“An infectious retrovirus susceptible to an IFN antiviral pathway from human prostate tumors.” Dong et al. PNAS: 30 January 2007. Volume 104: no. 5. found online here.
3. It had previously been postulated that male circumcision may actually reduce the risk of HIV acquisition in men. A recent study conducted by Bailey et al found that male circumcision indeed reduced the risk of HIV acquisition in males. The protective effect conferred by male circumcision was approximately 60% when compared with the controls. This intervention, as studied thus far, did not result in any noticeable changes in sexual behavior.
“Male circumcision for HIV prevention in young men in Kisumu, Kenya: a randomised controlled trial.” 2007. Bailey et al.
4. TMC114/ritonavir, a new protease inhibitor in phase IIb clinical trials, has induced higher CD4 count increases than control protease inhibitors.
“Efficacy and Safety of TMC114/ritonavir in Treatment-experienced HIV Patients: 24-week Results of POWER 1.” 2007. Katlama et al
5. A follow-up on a cohort study on 403 homosexual or bisexual HIV positive men confirmed that at least for this group of individuals, the median times between HIV seroconversion to AIDS and HIV seroconversion to death were 8.3 years and 8.9 years respectively.
“Determinants of HIV Disease Progression among Homosexual Men Registered in the Tricontinental Seroconverter Study.” 2008. Veugelers et al.